A Guide to Exit Popups for WordPress

Andrew Buck May 27, 2019

Getting people to your site is only half the battle.

Once someone reaches your site, you need to keep them there. The numbers vary depending on where you look, but you can expect anywhere between 70-95% of your site visitors will never return.

If you check your Google Analytics data, it’ll probably back this up.

Returning versus new visitors on Google Analytics

So while you have someone on your site, you need to do all you can to either convert them, or capture contact details (such as their email). Otherwise, there’s a good chance this person will never come to your site again.

We’re going to give you a look at how this type of popup helps you get more leads, and how you can start doing this with a WordPress exit popup plugin.

How Does an Exit Popup Help?

You might be familiar with exit popups, even if you don’t realize it.

Just as you go to close a tab, an overlay appears, saying something like “Before you go, check out this great offer!”

This is an exit intent popup. It’s a last-ditch attempt to capture someone before they disappear into the wild.

Exit popups work by triggering when it detects that the viewer is about to navigate away from the page. Once their cursor goes towards the close tab button, a popup appears.

Of course, you can capture your visitor’s contact details with a regular popup. But it’s not always a great idea to interrupt them while they’re trying to read your content. Plus, people these days get in the habit of subconsciously closing popups like this.

An exit popup is a much smarter way of doing things. There is less annoyance for the visitor, as it doesn’t get in the way of them reading your content. And as a departure from the type of popup/optin people are used to, there’s more chance of it capturing their attention.

Do Exit Popups Actually Work?

In theory, everything sounds great. But how about in practice?

DigitalMarketer has a case study in which they decreased bounce rate by 19.67%, increased average time spent on site by 54% and generated 2638 leads in 14 days, with a strategy built around exit intent popups.

This post from Omniconvert shows Samsung saw a 26% increase in revenue from the use of exit intent overlays, and 60% of visitors targeted with the exit overlay stayed on their site longer.

Unbounce generated a 19.03% conversion rate (on email signups) from using an exit intent popup.

So you can see these examples return similar results across the board – around 20% either converted or stayed on the site and 50-60% increase in time spent on site. These are visitors who, otherwise, would have bounced.

Even if you got, say, half the results of these examples, that’s still 10% of your exiting visitors you can salvage. That means you could be getting 10 leads for every 100 visitors. Over time, that’s going to add up nicely.

The Best Way to Use an Exit Popup

Let’s get this straight first – you don’t want to add an exit popup on every page on your site. That’s overkill.

Instead, look for pages with a high bounce rate:

Example of bounce rate on WordPress pages from Google Analytics

Generally speaking, anything over 70% is pretty high, and a decent indicator of pages you want to target.

Otherwise, you might want to target important pages, such as product pages or landing pages. Pages that are specifically designed to convert – if someone’s about to bounce from one of these pages, you’ll want to give them a little extra to keep them on the hook.

How to Create an Exit Popup on WordPress

Unless you’re an extremely talented programmer, you probably want to use a plugin or tool to build a popup with exit intent behavior.

Optin cat’s exit intervention feature lets you do just that.

Backend settings for Optin Cat's wordpress exit popup

Create your optin form, and turn on the exit intervention rule.

Exit Popup on WordPress from Optin Cat

WordPress Exit Popup Best Practices

You won’t necessarily get the best results from any old exit popup. Here are a few tips to make sure your popup converts as many visitors as possible.

Offer Something

Your first instinct with a popup may be to ask someone to subscribe to your newsletter.

Bu, with any kind of optin, you’re going to get much better results by offering your visitor something in exchange for their email. This is even more true for an exit popup, since the person already has a foot out the door.

[See our guide on the best and most effective types of optin forms here]

This a perfect spot to place your lead magnet. If the person is in a hurry, they get something they can look at later, and you still have the opportunity to get back in touch with them.

Exit popup presenting a leadmagnet

If you’ve got an e-commerce site, a discount code would work great here. If the visitor’s about to leave your product page or checkout page without buying something, so why not offer a discount? This can be a great way to convince them to buy from you, rather than going somewhere else.

Create Urgency

When you present an offer (especially if it’s a discount), let your customer know there’s a deadline to take the offer.

Marketers, especially online marketers, have used urgency to drive more conversions for years. That’s because there are very real psychological triggers related to urgency, or scarcity.

“FOMO” – fear of missing out – kicks in when we see there’s a limited time to take action on something. You see it all over in retail – “Available for a limited time only!”.

Use this psychology to your advantage, and let your visitor know there’s only a short time in which they can take advantage of your offer. You’ll likely see a lot more take action.

Make It Simple

Generally speaking your optin forms should be fairly simple. And when your visitor is signalling they’re about to leave your site, they aren’t going to stick around too long to read what’s on your optin form.

Bad example of a WordPress exit popup

Take the example above. No one’s going to want to read all that, when they’re already about to leave.

Get down to business straight away. Let the viewer know what you’re offering and why they should hand over their email, in as few words as possible. You want them to sign up, so make it easy for them.

Exit Popups for WordPress – In Summary

No matter what type of site you’re running, there’s an advantage to putting an exit popup on your WordPress site.

If you’ve got an e-commerce store, you can convert more visitors in to sales.

If you sell a service, you can get more leads from your site traffic.

And if you’re running a blog, you’ll get more readers coming back by subscribing them to your email list.

More than 70% of your visitors will leave your site, never to be seen again. Unless you capture them with a WordPress exit popup.

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